Mattress 101

The Ultimate Cooling Mattress: Essentia Sleep Cool vs. Others

The Ultimate Cooling Mattress: Essentia Sleep Cool vs. Others

Essentia Cooling Technology Versus Others

The best cooling mattress does more than just sleep cool. Here we will explore the different types of "cooling technology" on the market. You don't have to be a hot sleeper to be concerned about whether your mattress will help you sleep cool or not, in fact, the temperature can be one of the factors most important to you getting a proper night's sleep. And while everyone wants to say they allow you to sleep cool, not every technology is created equal... in fact, most technologies are hiding dirty secrets such as toxic chemicals. Let's explore the different cooling technologies here.

Temperature & You: Why Does Sleeping Cool Matter?

Before we jump into the actual technologies, it is important to understand why temperature, sleeping cool, and cooling mattresses are so important for your quality of sleep. 

Ambient temperature or temperature of your surrounding environment is one of the most important factors that influence your sleep. You’ve probably read a lot about keeping your room cool between 65 and 72 degrees at night, and that’s because scientists believe that a cooler room can help trigger this internal temperature drop and speed up your sleep cycle. There is a lot of truth to this. 

The hotter the temperature around you, the harder it is for your body to shed heat and cool down. Hot and humid nights can cause you to wake more often, breaking your sleep cycle. When you spend less time in slow-wave sleep and REM sleep you limit your body’s chance to do important recovery. These sleep stages are when your body does it’s most critical work of rejuvenating and repairing itself. This can include repairing cells, processing memory emotions, and most importantly strengthening the immune system. You don’t even have to experience extreme heat to affect your sleep cycle, even mild heat exposure can have a negative effect on your sleep keeping your body temperature higher and more alert. 

Given this logic, sleeping in a super cool room should mean that you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, but what if you’re sleeping on a surface that traps heat? Yep, while it is one of the best surfaces for your body, traditional memory foam is the biggest culprit of trapping your body heat leading to sweaty nights no matter how low the thermostat is set. Which goes against the logic of a cool body to sleep soundly.

Cool Body? Your Body Temperature Dictates Your Sleep Quality 

Your body prepares itself for sleep by dropping the core body temperature. This process usually begins in the late afternoon and continues into the evening hours, this process known as thermoregulation operates on a 24-hour circadian cycle much like our sleep-wake cycle. Your body temperature falling and rising over the 24-hour day is an important step in your sleep-wake cycle. As your body temperature drops it helps you fall asleep and stay asleep at night, and as your body temperature rises it stimulates alertness in the morning. 

There are also signals to your body to begin to lower your temperature, like the simple act of lying down which will trigger your body to redistribute heat and in doing so will begin to lower your internal temperature. There are certain physiological changes that the body also goes through to prepare for sleep such as pushing heat to the extremities and allowing blood vessels on your skin to become larger, both of these allow the body to release heat and begin lowering your core temperature which triggers the feeling of being sleepy. The body keeps the temperature low throughout the night, before beginning to rise in the very early morning hours, helping prepare you to wake up and be active and alert.

Now let’s jump into the different types of cooling mattress technologies. 

Essentia Patended Natural Memory Foam Cooling Technology 

Essentia Natural Memory Foam Cooling Technology

Essentia’s patented natural memory foam mattresses can help you combat the night sweats for those hot sleepers and get a great night's sleep plus so much more!

Essentia organic mattresses have been tested to sleep on average of up to seven degrees cooler than your internal body temperature over an eight-hour sleep cycle, as demonstrated in the graph above. This clearly shows that Essentia's cooling mattress regulates your body temperature and combat night sweat when compared to traditional memory foam or polyurethane memory foam (like the kind NASA used). How does this happen? Essentia’s patented natural memory foam actively pulls heat away from the body naturally and dispels it through the mattress. As Essentia’s natural memory foam is breathable, it allows for constant airflow through the mattress helping this process so you won’t be sweating as you sleep. Your body is thus able to self-regulate its internal temperature without battling a hot box.

Moreover, Dr. Jace Provo MD, MS, CASQM has tested the Essentia mattress in his evaluation of sleep pattern relationship with circadian rhythm and found that:

“The Essentia mattress core provides an effective solution to minimize the impact of temperature affected sleep deprivation. Evidence suggests that a reduction in surface temperature could prevent fluctuations in skin temperature and maximize the total time spent on sleep.”

Essentia Is Different From Other Cooling Technologies. Here Are Ineffective Cooling Technologies Not Used By Essentia:

The Dirty Truth Behind Cool-Touch Covers & Phase-Changing Material

You have probably seen this technology included on other mattresses, and this is where it can get deceiving. In mattresses and pillows, phase-changing technologies are micro-encapsulated chemicals that are applied to textiles and foams. The chemicals react when exposed to heat. While most common chemicals typically generate heat when they cause a reaction, these phase changing chemicals generate a “cooling” reaction. These chemicals are very volatile and unstable which, for safety purposes, requires fire barrier chemicals within the microencapsulation in order to stabilize the reaction. So phase-changing technology in mattresses and pillows is a chemical-laden process that requires additional fire barrier chemicals, all of this then exposes you to chemical off-gassing

memory foam mattress layers

More than just the chemical off-gassing, phase-changing technologies when it comes to sleeping cool and achieving deep sleep is that it does not last. The initial “cooling” reaction only occurs once, which means outside of that initial 60 seconds of cooling, the surface you are sleeping on still generates and holds heat throughout the night. The only way to spark the reaction again is to change your sleeping position in order to have contact with a new portion of the surface that has not yet reacted. These movements are both consciously and subconsciously repeated through your sleep cycle constantly interrupting and reducing the quality of sleep.

The second issue with a sudden high cooling sensation that does not last is that it creates an environment for night sweats as it constantly creates contrast in temperatures from the ambient temperatures to your body temperature, and to surface temperatures. Imagine your air conditioning constantly spiking and dipping between hot and cold throughout the night? That leads to a series of sleep interruptions, night sweats, and confusing your central nervous system in regards to the wake or sleep signals it is sending to the body. 

The key to proper thermo-regulation is for dynamic surface and core cooling throughout the night without dips and spikes in temperature. The ambient temperature is important however only works properly with an actively cooling sleep surface such as an Essentia patented Natural Memory Foam mattress. 

Wool Won’t Help You Sleep Cool

Wool is one of the earliest padding materials used in mattresses. In earlier times, wool would be a removable component that would require frequent cleaning to avoid unwanted growth and nesting of bed bugs and dust mites. Today wool is integrated into the quilt of the mattress and is not removable nor washable. In order to do this, the wool goes through an initial detergent cleaning, then combing, followed by additional detergent cleaning. Finally, in the finishing stage, it is treated with pesticides and in certain countries, it is also treated with fire barrier chemicals to conform with fire barrier laws. That is correct, wool on its own does not meet the legal fire barrier laws. 

Wool is most commonly used in the production of organic mattresses, and certain chemicals are permitted within the scope of tolerances within certifying authorities. The main purpose of wool in a mattress is to be an alternative to the most commonly used quilt filler which is polyester. Wool is not considered to have any cooling benefits, however, it is also not a contributor to heat build-up and is often regarded as a temperature neutral component. This is mainly the textile fabric at the surface, it is the foams used below this layer that will dictate the heat of the mattress or pillow. Wool is not a dynamic cooling component. 


What’s Hiding In Cooling Gel, Memory Foam Gel, and Gel Mattresses? 

Cooling gel is one of the first synthetic materials created in hopes of solving the sleeping hot problem commonly caused by polyurethane memory foam and today is the least effective technology. Cooling gel is mainly used as an effective marketing spin and most recently has been introduced as low density, low support, comfort layers on affordable mattresses. The main goal of including cooling gel for many of these products is to be able to have the marketing talking points but it is not an effective cooling surface. In fact, all cooling gel mattresses and pillows are covered in polyester textiles as they are also the lowest cost component. 

cooling gel memory foam

The concept behind the cooling gel was to add tiny particles of gel blended into the polyurethane memory foam. Theoretically, as the gel is a surface that does not absorb heat, the gel does initially feel cool and does cool down the surface quickly if the mattress is not in use. Some manufacturers go by the percentage theory, so if 10% of the blend is a gel then 10% of the surface sleeps cooler. The reality is that the idea of a percentage doesn’t work as it is not the complete surface which is 10% cooler but just the 10% section. It’s sort of like stating that your foot and only your foot will sleep cooler on this surface. However beyond the percentage theory, similar to the phase-changing, once the gel is heated to your body temperature it is no longer cool. Thus, cooling gel is not a dynamic cooling option.

Most of today’s gel foams no longer carry the memory foam title. Many of the newer foams have opted for microgel particles so they blend more consistently, and there is a higher percentage of gel within the formula. You will often see it as a low-density surface comfort layer on price-sensitive or lower-priced mattresses. The low-density polyurethane foam combined with a higher content of gel eliminates the support feature that memory foam is known for. However, these newer gel foams still do not achieve dynamic cooling.


Just Because Springs Offer Air Flow Doesn’t Mean You’ll Sleep Cool.

Springs do not belong in the conversation on sleeping cool. The spring unit in a mattress is a lower-level component that is distanced from the surface. On low-quality mattresses, the padding on the mattress may be minimal, however the higher the quality of the mattress, the further the distance of the coil unit from the surface. Economical spring mattresses where the coils are close to the surface are finished in polyurethane and polyester with no cooling benefits, other entry-level mattresses introduce gel foams. But in all cases, the springs have nothing to do with any cooling or ventilating benefits. These benefits exist and must start at the surface.

In establishing a dynamic cooling mattress, every layer plays a role, ending with the support core. So starting from the surface, if every layer above the spring core is effective at cooling, the spring core will continue to be a contributor as heat that dissipates will continue to do so at the spring core level. However, the spring core cannot take the credit for sleeping cold as it fully relies on each layer above it to lead the way.

Essentia cores are designed for each layer to effectively dissipate surface heat. Both the Essentia latex support cores and the Essentia Hybrid cores effectively allow proper flow-through of heat, but it all starts at the surface. 

The Clear Cooling Mattress Winner

As demonstrated by everything above, there are no other effective cooling technologies on the market that either do what they claim or are able to actively keep you cool all night without the addition of toxic chemicals. Essentia is proud to manufacture a mattress that is able to provide a clean air environment, offering great pressure relief, back support, and is able to keep you sleeping cool naturally. Manufactured in Essentia’s GOLS and GOTS certified organic factory, what you are getting from Essentia is a mattress that will perform for you, packed with top of the line sleep technology. 

Shop Essentia Cooling Mattresses here.